Views - Part 2

Views allows you to reuse existing configuration - in a good way. If you create a page listing of your content and need to provide a block of page titles or add an RSS feed (even create more pages) – View Displays can be used rather than duplicating views.
Image of Page Display and Block content views displays
If you explore the existing GovCMS Block Article View – three Displays exist: Page, Feed and Block. Go to StructureViewsGovCMS Block Article Views.
Image of GovCMS Block Article View
Views displays allows you to easily create a duplicate of any other display and add some customisations and overrides.

Views also allow you to speed up your site if you have two views that load similar fields. This is because with Views you can cache both the query and rendered output, which reduces the load on your database. You can learn more about Views caching in Unit 10.

The Views module includes some pre-built templates, which can be activated and edited to suit your requirements. Click on the links in the Format section to review these (see screenshot above).
Image of Views pre-built templates
Image of Views pre-built templates

In this section we’re going to look at the Views editing interface.
Image of Views editing interface
  • A. Displays: Create multiple displays from the same view. This might mean multiple pages with different filters or blocks, RSS feeds, etc.
  • B. Format: Output content into lists, tables, or show the full content (node) display.
  • C. Fields: Specify fields such as title, date, taxonomy, etc.
  • D. Filter criteria: This is the most important aspect, since you limit the selection this way.
  • E. Sort criteria: Specify ordering of the list - by created date, by title or any other property.
  • F. Header: Add arbitrary HTML to the top and bottom of your views.
  • G. Pager: Specify how many items to display or whether or not to show a "previous/next" pager.

In the Unit 6 exercises, we used filters in Views to limit the data displayed (e.g. to show certain content types or show content categorised with a specific taxonomy term. For our Jobs website, we want to show related content when we view a job listing for a specific state/territory, without having to build a new view for each new state. The solution is to use context to control the items displayed. We can set up GovCMS to check the taxonomy terms from the article, and dynamically include content that’s categorised with the same term.
We can configure a view so that it’s filtered dynamically, depending on the context. For example, we could use a contextual filter to add a block that contains related content or that presents a list of articles by the same author.
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Views displays – multiple views in one
Views caching
Views attachments
The Views editing interface – Format pane
Related content with Views (contextual filters)